Karen King, pastor of New Beginnings Ministries on Maple Street, invites guests to tour her church—the former Fayette Bible Church—and also take a look at the enormous Christmas Village that's set up in the sanctuary of the old part of the church, on the north end of the structure.
The village—complete with lighted buildings and an ice skating rink—belonged to the mother of someone attending the church. Karen has watched boxes and boxes of components being moved inside for assembly and she’s impressed with the scope of the display.
The old sanctuary of her church stands on the site of Fayette's original United Brethren Church built in the 1800s. A new church was constructed in 1920 after a devastating fire and it still stands, but it's no longer the worship area. The old church was converted to a youth center after a new addition was built in the 1980s, including basement classrooms.
Karen's involvement with the church spans several decades. Her mother was a charter member of the church after the United Brethren services stopped and the Bird Lake Wesleyan Missionary Church bought the property. Karen served as a pastor at the church in the early 1970s.
Karen and her father, along with her brother Kary Snider, took part in the construction project to build the addition. Pastor Sam Wickard led the congregation for many years when the church was known as the Fayette Bible Church, but the structure remained vacant for five years until Rev. King bought it earlier this year. She now leads Sunday services at 10:30 a.m, plus Wednesday evening prayer and fellowship from 6 to 7 p.m.
• For the tour, use the parking lot on the south end of the church, near the double doors.
In addition to the Christmas Village, Rev. King has one more surprise awaiting guests. Look for a large angel carved from ice mounted outside the church Dec. 2.
Well-known ice artist Chad Hartson of Napoleon, Ohio, will create the piece as a favor to another church member and have it delivered to the site.